Tanzania Safari Booked!!!

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Jul 22nd, 2005, 08:20 PM
  #21
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Now that my next TWO safaris are booked, I feel like I have Post-Partum Depression!!!

What do they prescribe for that, Xanax???

Oh well, 40 days and counting for South Luangwa, Lower Zambezi, Cape Town and the Sabi Sand.
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:34 AM
  #22
sandi
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Roccco -

Your comment:

>>feel like I have Post-Partum Depression!!!

What do they prescribe for that, Xanax???<<

I don't believe Mr. Cruise would approve! Planning another safari will!

 
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 05:30 AM
  #23
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Sandi,

Yeah, well, we cannot all afford to be Scientologists!

If I had 10% for safaris what Mr. Cruise gave to the Scientologists, I would likely be on a year round safari!
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 05:45 AM
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Sounds great Rocco!
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 08:01 AM
  #25
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At the advice of others, I did add an additional night prior to the February 26th Kiliminjaro Marathon, so the final marathon did become this:

Feb 24 - 26th - Moivaro Coffee Lodge (3)

Manyara Tree Camp, Lake Manyara (2)

Ngorongoro Serena, Ngorongoro Crater (2)

Olduvai Camp, Short Grass Plains, Southern Serengeti (1)

(Each Masek & Piaya are Nomad camps, the same company that operates Sand Rivers in Selous) (Duh, I wasn't even aware of this until I further researched it this morning, so this is a pleasant surprise...I just wanted to lock myself in before there was no availability left for late February / early March)

Masek Camp, Short Grass Plains, Southern Serengeti (2)

http://www.nomad-tanzania.com/our-camps-1.php

Piaya Camp, Long Grass Plains, South Central Serengeti (2)

Mbuzi Mawe, Central Serengeti (2)

I ended my booking with the flight to Zanzibar, and the above 14 nights cost approximately $12,000 ($6000 pps)

I will add the Zanzibar accomodations later...didn't want to put a deposit down on this portion yet, when I think there will for sure be space availabe. I'll book this portion after I return from Zambia & South Africa in late September.

Emerson & Green (2) Hopefully in the "Keep Suite."

Palms Zanzibar (3)
I expect that this portion will cost about $3,500, including my air transfer to Dar Es Salaam for my 11PM flight home.

Total Price 19 night Tanzanian holiday = $15,500 USD + international air. Wow, that is a little scary, now that it is down in print!

Of course, the fact that I will earn 15,500 Membership Rewards points did not hurt either. That is basically about 1/5 of a business class ticket from Europe to Southern Africa and free regional business class flight. That is worth at least $1,000 to me, as the value of a business class flight from London - Johannesburg - Lusaka is worth $5,000, easy.

For the unfamiliar, Nomad camps are fully inclusive

I am very surprised at myself, as I may have had the best Botswanan safari for the same price or less, providing I went by the end of June. Yet, I am pleased that I have not been so stiff by insisting to return to Southern Africa for the 5th time when I have not yet experienced East Africa.

Really, there were no deals to be had in East Africa, since I have zero experience and really no opportunity for special deals, as I do have in Southern Africa. Anyway, it will be great to escape the Arctic winter of Southern California to visit warmer climates!

I doubt that I will upgrade to the Crater Lodge. I just don't see it worth it to pay triple the price for Crater Lodge over the Serena.

I am especially looking forward to my time at Manyara Tree Camp, Mbuzi Mawe and the Palms Zanzibar. I looked at Kusini (a Sanctuary lodge) but just wasn't impressed enough to make it a deciding factor. Instead, I went with four nights split between Nomad camps (Masek & Piaya). I do like the fact that there are only four tents at Masek & Piaya, offering a very exclusive experience.

I chose Olduvai for the safari walk with the Masaii and its location, even if just for one night.

Mbuzi Mawe looks like a great place to end my safari. Hopefully it will prove to be as nice as its sister Serengeti Serena property, Kirawira.

http://www.serenahotels.com/tanzania/mbuzi/photo.asp

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Jul 23rd, 2005, 12:56 PM
  #26
 
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Roccco - I just returned from Tanzania and Kenya and am already jealous of your recent bookings! I am interested to hear how Tanzania compares to Zambia and South Africa.

I thought I would share my impression of the Ngorongoro Serena vs. the Crater Lodge. I also chose to save money by staying at the Serena instead of the Crater Lodge for the same reason as you mentioned (why pay extra for the same location). But after our first night at Lake Manyara Tree Lodge (before Ngorongoro Serena) we like the CC property so much that we tried to get in to the Crater Lodge but could not because it was already booked.

When we arrived at the Serena we were a bit dissappointed. The Serena was clean and quite acceptable, but the level of service and quality of food left us feeling dissapointed. Even with the considerable difference in price between the Serena and the Crater Lodge, I would suggest going for the lodge! What the heck - it is only money...and may never get another chance to stay there again. For the price of one of you lenses you can enjoy the Lodge.

We have only 2 regrets from our safari: 1. Not considering booking the Serengeti balloon earlier (it was sold out when we asked 3 weeks before we departed). and 2. Not pulling the trigger on the Crater Lodge.

Got for it!!
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 02:00 PM
  #27
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Jazz Drew,

Congratulations, you are to be an accessory to bank robbery!

I realize that the Ngorongoro Serena is the biggest weakness in my itinerary and you have now planted the seed. Thanks for nothing!

You know, I didn't choose East Africa because I wanted to spend $20,000, but once I switch over to the Crater Lodge for two nights, that is where the cost may very well end up.

Oh well, you only live once, right?
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Jul 23rd, 2005, 02:22 PM
  #28
 
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Whatever you do I know suspect that the crater it self will be the highlight.

Did you happen to see the show on the Travel Channel called Tremendous Treehouses about a month ago? They featured a segment all about the Manyara Tree lodge.

As a matter of fact I recognized the manager, Francis, who was interviewed on the program. He had not yet seen the show yet, so I promised I would send him a copy when I returned. I just sent it off to CC Africa.

If you missed it I made a dvd copy of the show and would be glad to get you a copy if you would like.
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Jul 24th, 2005, 10:14 AM
  #29
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Jazz Drew,

Thank you...I would LOVE a copy of that DVD!

Will you please e-mail me and I will provide you with my address?

I am just in over my head with Africa now...even my xenophobic mother-in-law wants to go to Africa now! You should have seen her flipping through my "Safari In Style" book last night.

If my sister-in-law and her husband are serious about Southern Africa in August 2006, chances are that my mother-in-law, and who knows, maybe even my father-in-law will come along. They have been in the United States for nearly 35 years and I don't think they have left since they arrived (from the Middle East) all that time ago.

Given that I will have had my Zambia fix and a visit to Tanzania, I don't think I would mind a tamer 1st timer type trip...maybe Phinda Forest & Londolozi Bateleur? The price is certainly right with CCAfrica with their buy 3 nights get the 4th night free special. So, why the ^*#& can't I buy three nights of Manyara Tree Camp and Ngorongoro Crater Lodge and get the 4th night free?

One aspect of this trip that I am really looking forward to, is having my own guide and vehicle throughout. Really, when you factor that into the equation, the cost is not bad at all.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 07:01 AM
  #30
 
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OK Rocco. You have just planned a wonderful trip for yourself and your wife. It's done. Complete. Finissimo. I now have the perfect antidote to what now ails you - the "I'm done plannin' my Africa trip blues."

You must now start planning MY trip. It will be a real challenge for you, too, because I have about 1/4 of your budget to work with.
So here you have it:
I have about 3 weeks, and the time of year is open. I want to go next year. I want to see lots of animals. I must have a knowledgable guide. I would like to go to either: Zambia/Bots/Zim/Nab, OR spend a week with gorillas and a couple of weeks in Kenya/Tanzania. My budget? Ready for this? $5,500. Yes, I'm livin' large and upping the amount by $500. OK, my friend, up to the challenge? ;-)
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Jul 25th, 2005, 08:12 AM
  #31
 
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I should add two things:

1) I can cut the number of days according to budget

2)I am not looking for all-out luxury, obviously. But camps should be comfy and safe.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 09:10 AM
  #32
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cooncat,

I would be happy to help you plan a trip to Zambia, but I am not a miracle worker and cannot even touch Tanzania for those numbers!

Let me know if Zambia interests you and I will get you there with a very good recommended itinerary on the cheap!
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Jul 25th, 2005, 09:11 AM
  #33
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Okay,

I have A.D.D. and usually only read half of the posts...I see now that Zambia was okay by you.

E-mail me and I will be able to put you in touch with the right people and itinerary.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 12:20 PM
  #34
 
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cooncat,
If you decide on East Africa with gorilla trekking (and from your other posts it sounds like gorilla trekking would be a very important inclusion), how many treks would you want to do? In Uganda or Rwanda or both? The reason that I ask is because the trekking will be a major expense, so the first thing to do might be to figure out the cost of this portion and then see how much you have left to work with for the balance of your trip.

Permit fees this year in Rwanda run $375 per trek and I believe Uganda is similar or the same. This doesn't include transportation, accomodations, etc. or internal airfare. The easiest gateway in East Africa to use is probably Nairobi and a RT flight from Nairobi to Kigali, Rwanda runs approx. $400. I'm not sure about Entebbe, Uganda, but it's probably around the same cost. Organized through a local outfitter your costs for transportation and full board accomodations will run in the range of $250-$300pppn (not including permit fees) with 2 people sharing in Rwanda.
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Jul 25th, 2005, 01:46 PM
  #35
 
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Cooncat -- I assume the $5500 is for one person and excludes international air, correct? If so then I think this is eminently doable. For the Kenya/Tanzania part do you have a preference for tented camps vs. lodges? Particular areas (have you been to Kenya or Tanzania before?)? Do you prefer any particular time of year?
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Jul 26th, 2005, 05:38 AM
  #36
 
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Lisa and Patty - thanks for the input. To answer some of your questions: I was hoping the $5500 included intnl. airfare but this is negotiable dep. on the trip itself. I don't have a time of year specified as of yet. I was waiting to determine my destination before determining the time of year. Later in the year would be better, but again, if game viewing, weather, etc. is better in specific place, I'm flexible. On gorilla trekking: I had no idea the cost of the flights, etc. I had just been researching such trips on different web sites (can't remember which ones, at the moment) and was hoping to find something all-inclusive within the continent. Which country - Rwanda or Uganda? I don't really have a preference; I was thinking two or three days with the gorillas. The other option for me would be chimps on the reserves on the Tanganyika coast. Mahale? is that right? Anyway, if this is a less expensive option, I would be very interested in this as well. As for lodging, I prefer smaller camps to lodges, but most important to me is that I have as "wild" or as realistic experience as possible in terms of game viewing, with reasonable comfort at camp. If there is a lodge strategically placed for game-viewing, and it's less expensive, that's fine, too. The main thing that attracts me to south africa - Zambia, etc., is fewer people, and to me,it just seems a little wilder. Then on the other hand, I'm not getting any younger, and maybe I should get my a$# up the mountains and see the apes before I get too old! ;-)

You can see I am still tied in knots about this trip but I am getting clarity and actually, I love planning trips so this is very much part of the fun. Thanks again and any insight, as always, is appreciated!
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Jul 26th, 2005, 07:01 AM
  #37
 
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If you want that price to include international airfare then I take it back, you have presented quite a challenge indeed, although I do think it is possible if you time yourself to get low season pricing, are flexible on the level of accommodations, and are willing to join in a small group. From what country would you be departing?

Just to give you some rough idea of costs, take a look at some of these TZ & Kenya itineraries, which based on a great deal of comparative shopping I believe are well-priced, some of which include international air:

http://www.2afrika.com/safaris/portf...anzania_05.asp

http://www.2afrika.com/safaris/portfolios/kenya_05.asp

http://www.goodearthtours.com/tanzania_itineraries.html

http://www.goodearthtours.com/kenya_itineraries.html

Also check out these itineraries for Mountain Gorillas:

http://www.goodearthtours.com/mountain_gorillas.html.

http://www.2afrika.com/safaris/portfolios/rwanda_05.asp (this one departs from Nairobi so would hook up well with one of the Kenya safaris -- but doesn't give you much "gorilla time")

http://www.2afrika.com/safaris/portfolios/uganda_05.asp

2afrika offers southern Africa safaris as well (Botswana, Zambia, etc.) and you can see those itineraries on their website as well.

Just some food for thought...
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Jul 26th, 2005, 07:02 AM
  #38
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Okay, I did it...I just upgraded to the Crater Lodge.

I cannot believe how much I have committed to spend on this safari. I think I better cut the cable television, switch the dogs to dry food, fire the housekeeper, cut back on the gardener, refinance the house, rob a few liquor stores, and start taking a paper sack lunch to the office everyday!

Somehow, it always works out, thank God.

Final itinerary:

Moivaro Coffee Lodge (3)
Manyara Tree Camp (2)
Crater Lodge (2)
Olduvai Camp (1)
Masek Camp (2)
Piaya Camp (2)
Mbuzi Mawe (2)
Emerson & Green (2)
Palms Zanzibar (3)

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Jul 26th, 2005, 07:24 AM
  #39
 
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No....no....not the dog food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!
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Jul 26th, 2005, 07:26 AM
  #40
 
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I have to tell you all that Rocco has come up with quite an itinerary for me in Zambia. Decisions, decisions. (I can tell you one thing that is absolutely for certain: I will not be giving my cats dry food!) ;-)

Thanks to you all - I will look at some of those itineraries at lunchtime!
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